Just to be clear, I haven’t done any sort of survey of fandom or even of friends & family. These are just the (non-sequel) films that I am personally most excited to see this year — and, of course, limited to the sci-fi/fantasy and action/adventure genres. I’ll start with a “Top 3”, then some honorable mentions. In order of release date:
Terminator: Genisys (7/1/2015): I may be cheating a little on this one, but officially it’s not a sequel but a reboot. I am a huge fan of the Terminator movies — even the last one wasn’t too terrible (cringe!) — but I admit that I have mixed feelings about this latest effort. Essentially, it will erase the previous timeline(s) and start over… again. Not sure if that is good or bad. It’s sort of like DC comics trying another “crisis” that is supposed to solve lots of problems and make things simpler. But, does it really? Regardless, when I saw the trailers for Terminator: Genisys, I… how shall I put this… I began to feel quite positively toward the reboot. I believe my exact reaction was something like, “Cool!” or “Dude!” The cast looks great and the action seems to be a mix of the first two Terminator movies. I am definitely in!
Ant-Man (7/17/2015): Two weeks after Terminator: Genisys, we get our second adaptation of the year of Marvel Comics characters. This time, though, we get brand new characters in a brand new setting. My preference would have been to bring the original Ant-Man, Dr. Henry “Hank” Pym, and the Wasp, Janet Van Dyne, to the big screen as contemporaries (if not members) of the Avengers. Instead, the studio decided to go with the Scott Lang version, recruited by an older, white-haired Dr. Pym. There has been a bit of controversy over departing writers and directors, but I wasn’t particularly attached to them, so I’m willing to give the final creative team the benefit of the doubt. I enjoyed the trailers and am really looking forward to seeing what they do with the characters.
Fantastic Four (8/7/2015): This is another reboot with a lot of mixed emotions expressed by the fans. Some of the early comments by the actors and director made me (and a lot of others) rather skeptical. Mad, even. It sounded like they were drastically changing these beloved characters and their origins — something the fanbase is generally against. (I’ve blogged on this many times before.) But, I think the release of the trailers (especially the second) has eased the fears of many, including myself. They appear to be borrowing more from the Ultimate version of the team and their “origin” than the original, and I’m OK with that. The visual effects look really good, too, and the darker tone might just be more realistic than other takes. So, I have to admit that I am looking forward to it. The only thing that still has me worried is how they will portray Dr. Doom….
OK, those are my “Top 3”. Now for my “honorable mentions”…
Ex Machina (1/21/2015): Yes, this one already came out, though I probably won’t see it for awhile. I read something shortly before it was released that talked about it having somewhat erotic undertones and questions about sexuality (or something like that). That isn’t my thing, but the issues of artificial intelligence and what it means to be human are what draw me to it. (Cute robot chicks are nice, too.)
Minions (7/10/2015): I do love the minions — those darling, goofy rascals from the Despicable Me movies. This new film will center on the trio of Stuart, Kevin, and Bob in a tale of silliness and dastardly supervillainy set in the 1960s. Fun for the whole family!
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (8/14/2015): The original TV series this is based on aired in the mid-1960s. It was a Cold War action drama about spies and counterspies and plenty of Bond-like gadgetry, starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. Unlike its contemporary, “Star Trek”, I somehow never watched the reruns. (I may need to track those down, eventually.) This is probably a good thing for me, since I won’t know enough to be disappointed at how much the new movie, starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, changes from the series. I think it’s still set in the 1960s era. Hopefully, they’ll keep the tone — somewhere between James Bond and “Get Smart” — and chemistry that made the original a hit.
Finally, here are a few more I am interested in but not quite as much as those preceding. (No, they are not “dishonorable mentions”.)
Mad Max reboot, Tomorrowland, Transporter reboot, Hitman “remake”, London Has Fallen, The Martian, Creed (Rocky semi-sequel)
I will eventually see them all, of course. What about you? Are there any you are particularly stoked about? (This list might help: “Upcoming Movie Release Dates“.)